About 17 chiefs from mostly from North-Western and areas where there are looming by-elections when MMD MPs resign Monday flocked into Sate House to meet president Michael Sata behind closed doors.
MMD MPs who went to see Sata at State House two weeks ago came out with K50 million each as the purchase price for defecting to the ruling party.
According to Sata’s mouth-piece George Chellar, during the closed door meeting, the traditional leaders pledged total support to President Sata’s administration in pursuit of the country’s development agenda.
There was no real defined agenda for the meeting.
Chellar also claimed that the chiefs expressed gratitude to Sata for establishing the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs as well as appointing opposition MMD Members of Parliament as deputy ministers in the PF Government.
According to Chellah, the chiefs further asked the Sata to initiate and finance tangible capital projects in their provinces and expedite the electrification and provision of mobile telephone network to their palaces.
The chiefs present at the closed door meeting included senior Chief Ndungu [Zambezi], senior chief Sikufelo [Kabompo], Senior Chief Mujimanzovu [Solwezi], senior chief Kasempa [Kasempa], Senior Chief Kalilele [Solwezi], Chief Chizela [Mufumbwe] and Chief Ntambu [Mwinilunga].
Others were Chief Mumena [Solwezi], Chieftainess Nyakuleng’a [Zambezi], Chieftainess Ikeleng’i [Ikeleng’i], chief Chikola [Solwezi], chief Mulonga [Solwezi], chief Munsaka [Solwezi], Senior Chief Mburuma [Luangwa], Chief Mphuka [Luangwa], Chief Mbangombe
[Katete] and Chief Khatumba [Katete].
And President Sata assured the chiefs that the PF Government is determined to ensure that resources were allocated to all areas of need countrywide.
President Sata emphasised the need for constant engagements between the Government and the traditional leadership in the country.
“You [traditional leaders] are a vital component in the governance of the country and there is a lot we can achieve together if we develop a culture of constant interaction. This is your place so feel free to submit your proposals and suggestions as and when need arises.
As a person who fully understands and appreciates tradition and culture, I am convinced that our chiefs will only be respected by the general populace if we the politicians look after them accordingly,” President Sata said.
The meeting was also attended by chiefs and traditional affairs deputy minister Hon. Susan Kawandami, tourism deputy minister Hon. David Phiri and education deputy minister Hon. Patrick Ngoma.
Others are commerce deputy minister Hon. Richard Taima, North-western Province minister Hon. Stephen Masumba, Kabompo MMD Member of Parliament Hon. Danny Ching’imbu and North-Western Province Permanent Secretary Augustine Seyuba.
State House has now being reduced to a place for opposition supporters and other money seekers to meet from.